Of course, we were eager to learn more about what drives this father of two grown sons and loving husband of 37+ years to give so much of himself to others. Keep reading to find out for yourself…
Your Edge Blog Team: First, off, we just want to say thank you for all you do for Zebra and your community. You are truly an inspiration! We have to know…given the number of hours you worked in 2019 both as an engineer and first responder, did you even have time for yourself?
Scott: On paper, it seems like a lot, but it didn’t feel that way to me. I’m always on the go. I love meeting people and helping out where I can. Our sons have left home, so it is just my wife and me at home, and I make sure to commit time to things she wants to do.
Your Edge Blog Team: Is your desire to help others the reason why you became a Medical First Responder?
Scott: Actually, it was Zebra that set me on this path, in a way. I’ve worked with Zebra as a test engineer in a small, nine-person remote office in Ottawa since 2014 and was designated to be the Health and Safety team lead in 2015. Around July 2018, we had a safety audit and I was asked if I had first aid training. I did not, so I was signed up in August at Zebra’s expense. During the training, the instructor mentioned that St. John Ambulance is always looking for more volunteers. I thought about it and decided to give it a try. I figured that learning about medical care would give me a new skillset that I could use anywhere. I had already been a hospital emergency department volunteer for over nine years at that point, so I saw what the nurses were doing. Even though I knew that I wasn’t cut out to provide patient care in that setting, I could still help out in the field in a similar capacity.
I joined St. John Ambulance as a volunteer a month later in September 2018, passed my first course – Basic Life Support – on October 16 and became a fully certified Medical First Responder on December 2 after passing an all-day test.
Your Edge Blog Team: Can you tell us a little bit about your typical shift as a Medical First Responder?
Scott: For a typical duty assignment, I put on my uniform and gather up some of my own supplies, including personal protection equipment (PPE), a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, wound care items, penlight for checking pupils, notepad, pens and more. We actually buy our own uniforms and must maintain a certain look. If I am designated as the Incident Commander (IC), I organize the St. John Ambulance people, assign tasks, check all of our equipment (trauma bags, oxygen, AED, supplies, radios, etc.), liaise with the event organizers and ensure that we are able to respond to any casualty at a moment’s notice. We call in 911 responders when needed. After the duty is over, we gather all of our equipment and bring it back to the St. John Ambulance office, sign it back in and head home to rest.
Your Edge Blog Team: Where are you typically assigned? Any special duties?
Scott: Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, there was a calendar of local events at which St. John Ambulance would provide Medical First Responder services. These included marathons, bike races, hockey games, large parties, diplomatic and government events and all sorts of other events.
Your Edge Blog Team: Any particularly memorable events?
Scott: The picture below shows me at a martial arts event. During the day-long event, we had 15 casualties, including a broken arm, cracked ribs, strained intercostal muscles (between the ribs), cuts, bruises, dizziness, head injuries and so on. I have also tended to patients suffering from epileptic seizure, breathing difficulties, scrapes, falls, animal bites and other issues.